Expectations for the work environment have changed dramatically over the years as knowledge workers became familiar with tools in the consumer market that are still in their infancy in the workplace. The change has been driven largely by the rise of participatory online activity; simply put, knowledge work has evolved to become less focused on a one-size fits all presentation of information to a model that requires dynamic, interactive, social, and customizable content.
There are many benefits to adding a social layer to content. The addition of profiles, status feeds, wikis, and blogs adds context to information, giving the knowledge worker helpful and often critical background information and a deeper understanding of where the information sits and what it relates to. Additionally, social tools embed community into content, allowing users to make the jump from a piece of content directly to the author without leaving the environment.
The need for this kind of contextual and social experience has been recognized by FatWire, a content management company. It recently updated FatWire TeamUp, a collaboration and community platform that allows the creation of social networks deployable as internal collaboration spaces for knowledge workers or as customer facing applications to engage site visitors and create communities. TeamUp includes blogs, wikis, and profiles, as well as the ability to create team workspaces. Additionally, it integrates fully with FatWire’s other offerings, such as the FatWire Content Server, as well as EMC Documentum, Microsoft SharePoint, and Windows- and Unix-based file systems via the FatWire Content Integration Platform, which uses peer-to-peer architecture to enable access to content stored in repositories.
One of the three tenets of the Collaborative Business Environment is Embedded Community, which implies deploying community and collaboration tools, such as e-mail, instant messaging, presence and awareness into environments where knowledge workers perform their tasks, linking knowledge work and collaboration, and knowledge workers with each other. The use of such functionality increases the knowledge workers’ ability to effectively do their jobs by making it easier for them to find content and resources for their work. FatWire TeamUp does this by adding a layer of social networking to its WCM platform and is worthy of consideration by organizations looking to add context to information and connect knowledge workers with each other.
Cody Burke is a senior analyst at Basex.